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November 2021    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 36, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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U.S. Dive Boat Owner’s Liability Might Increase

from the November, 2021 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Under current U.S. Maritime Liability Law, after an accident, the owner of any seagoing vessel can limit damage claims to just the owner's interest in the vessel. This doesn't add up too much if the vessel is a complete loss, as was the Conception after the fire killed 34 divers.

The liability law has its origins in 19th century England and was meant to promote the shipping business over the interests of the seagoing public. The 1851 law is time-tested and was successfully used to protect the owners of the Titanic from punitive damages. Currently, vessel owners, including dive vessel owners, pay hefty fees for liability insurance, and this limitation to liability is factored into these insurance rates....

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